Who won't be back?
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04-21-2004, 06:34 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Originally Posted by
Another thread turns into a Legwand debate
Dulzhok - Hartnell should prove himself yet Erat should be locked up long term? Erat and Hartnell are pretty much one in the same I believe as far as contracts are concerned, Hartnell's injuries kind of bring himself down to Erat's bargaining level right now. Hartnell brings much more to the table as far as production (as of now) and physicality are concerned and was just beginning to blossom this year and had an excellent playoffs.
Johnson had a pretty solid playoffs, granted I'm sure that had something to do with playing on undoubtedly the best line for the Preds in the playoffs with Hartnell and Hall, but as of now he's proven himself to be capable of playing in the playoffs when the pressure's on. You can even argue that he did more on the third line then Walker did on the first, but there are likely reasons for that - Hartnell and Hall get in and bang around, Walker's line with Sullivan got a lot of defensive attention, etc etc .. it all boils down to hypothetical situations from there and obviously there's nothing to be gained from arguing over it.. but Johnson, albeit the perfect target for the whole "journeymen" and "expansion team" tags, has played relatively well. If Poile let's a captain go, especially one that has given a lot to the team and has laid it all on the line for his team and one that can be signed for very little, that does more damage then it does good. I'm not saying he should continue to be third line center, he should be the fourth line center, but don't ruin a good thing. Johnson has at least earned some loyalty.. and I think it's safe to assume that we all don't have a real accurate picture of his locker room presence.
Stevenson is worth keeping around till he loses his effectiveness as an energy player, he banged bodies in the playoffs which is certainly commendable.
York and Allison can go, bring in Hutchinson for one of the two and test the market for a serviceable defenseman elsewhere .. but a lineup consisting of: Timonen, Hamhuis, Zidlicky, Hutchinson (absolutely hammered and drilled defensively), Hnidy and Bombardir looks a bit scary (as in bad - and not good bad, but bad bad - if that makes any sense
). It's not really a step up from this year. If Poile could pick up a serviceable physical defenseman to push either Hnidy or Bombardir to the outside looking in, and alternate the two throughout the season - it would certainly help. The crease-clearer concern still hasn't been answered with the above lineup, I don't think Hnidy has the overwhelming physical stature to handle the job night in and night out, despite being 6'2" 200 odd pounds, he doesn't really seem to play that way in my opinion.
Overall, there's obviously tons to build on - unless there's a serviceable player that can be added here and there (and there very may well be post CBA), go with what's got the Preds to where they are. Don't tear down things to bring in young players like Shishkanov just yet, let him and the rest of the youth mature (I'd like Hutchinson to have another AHL year, but he may be needed) - hopefully Hamhuis and Zidlicky can have successful sophomore stints to solidify the defense. I'm a little worried in Zidlicky's ability to have a successful second stint, he's gone away from what he was successful in towards the end of the year and he's coming off a likely concussion (speculation, I don't think we ever found out what he went out with) but all and all, next season looks to be an exciting one.
I have faith that the front office will do the right thing.
with zidlicky, timonen, and hamuis do we really need another offensive d-man in hutch?? I say shop hutch around for a good physical d-man.
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